Tall Mom tiny baby: May 2013

My Birth Story, Part 2: The Mount Hope Bridge, Danny Tanner, and the Nesting Effect

Friday, May 31, 2013

Author's note: This is the second of a ten-part series recapping and examining the birth story of my Itty Bitty. Birth is a beautiful experience, but some can find the contents of the topic a bit squeemish. In light of this, please note that these posts are neither too graphic, nor are they full of unicorns and rainbows. They're just the unfettered, unadulterated truth. And the truth is that birth is the most amazing experience of which I have been a part. By far. So, read on - learn, cry, laugh, but most of all, enjoy.

Scene: Crossing the Mount Hope Bridge with a great friend at 60 mph, forty-five minutes away from home, 50 minutes away from the hospital where I was going to give birth. Smash cut to inside the cabin of the car...

Me: "I'm really excited to try out this new breakfast place."

Friend: "Yeah, their french toast is especially good."

Me: "Yeah I read that on Yelp, I heard it was to die for. Oh, and just so you know, I have been having minor contractions every thirty minutes or so, and I lost my mucus plug last night."

Friend: "Yeah there's nothing like....wait, what? Are you kidding me? You're telling me this now, when we are on the Mount Hope Bridge? Really? And what the hell is a mucus plug?"

Me: "It's fine, yes, I lost my mucus plug. But, it's ok. It doesn't really mean anything is going to happen any time soon. I mean, things are definitely starting to happen in my body, but I wouldn't worry about it."

Friend: "I can't believe we are going to Newport while you're having contractions. I don't really feel comfortable delivering your child ya know. Things just wouldn't be the same afterwards, and I don't think I could look you in the face."

Me: "That's fine, and if things really pick up, Newport Hospital is gorgeous! Now step on it, I'm craving french toast now!"

That French toast was utterly delightful, and good thing too, because it was one of the last things I ate before giving birth to Itty Bitty.

After brunch, I came home, and suddenly felt uneasy. What's more, I felt something I have never felt.

I needed to clean.

I actually wanted to clean.

What the hell was wrong with me?!?

The problem was, I have terrible cleaning skills. I mean, you've seen my closet. It takes me hours to do simple tasks, and I despise organizing. (I can't tell you how badly this deficiency(?) bothers my husband. But, he loves me despite my bad habits and his OCD.). There it was, however, the true desire to do dishes, wash clothing, and tidy up our Nerdsery. (Yup, you read that right. A NERDsery. Not a typo. More on this in a later post.) This was truly uncharted territory.

I needed help. It was as if I were one of those people in the LifeCall,"help! I've fallen and can't get up!" commercials. So, naturally, I called up my mom. FYI, my mom is no joke. Pardon the pun, but she doesn't mess around. Being a retired naval officer, she knows a thing or two about being organized and clutter free. I used to compare her to Danny Tanner from Full House because she was always cleaning. My hubby is Pig Pen when compared to my mom. Seriously, she is the cleaning guru. Of course it took me thirty years, but I finally appreciated those picking up, tidying, and washing skills. My mom and I banged this messy place out in a few hours.

Hubby and I with my mom, a week before Itty Bitty was born

And, by my mom and I, I mean she did all the work by putting away baby clothes, and all my clothes as I bounced on my exercise ball. The work was a little one-sided, but the place came out great. Even my disturbingly clean hubby was happy. But, despite my best half-assed efforts to clean my place, I still knew something was up with me physically.

At the time I just figured they were practice contractions and that birth was still weeks away. I was certainly experiencing some discomfort, but remember, I was Super Woman. I knew that, whatever it was, I was fine. But, in the back of my brain, I definitely recognized that something, in whatever form, was starting to happen to me. And it wasn't the French Toast coming back to haunt me, if you know what I mean. I just thought I was in freak-out nesting mode and started to work myself up for no reason. So, while my mom was giving my place the Mrs. Doubtfire treatment, I continued to bounce on my Yoga ball in preparation for a birth which was going to be a long, long ways away.

Boy, was I wrong...

This is the second of a ten-part series recapping and examining the birth story of my Itty Bitty. Stay tuned for Part 3.

 

Day 150: Small success, a daytime nap

Thursday, May 30, 2013

 

Day 149: At Paint and Vino, Pawtucket, Rhode Island

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

My Birth Story, Part 1: Borrowed Time, One Eyed Willy, and the Mucus Plug

Author's note: This is the first of a ten-part series recapping and examining the birth story of my Itty Bitty. Birth is a beautiful experience, but some can find the contents of the topic a bit squeemish. In light of this, please note that these posts are neither too graphic, nor are they full of unicorns and rainbows. They're just the unfettered, unadulterated truth. And the truth is that birth is the most amazing experience of which I have been a part. By far. So, read on - learn, cry, laugh, but most of all, enjoy.

I was running on borrowed time...

My Itty Bitty was coming very soon and there was no stopping it. So, I wasn't going to whistle past the graveyard. Instead, I made sure the last few weeks in March, and the first week of April were completely booked with social get-togethers. Knowing my time alone (aka: pre Itty Bitty) was at a premium, I had breakfast dates, lunches, and evening strolls planned with friends from all aspects of my life.

At my baby shower, just two weeks before giving birth.

I knew I wanted to see everyone before I had my tiny baby, just one last time. I felt like Sean Astin in the Goonies, "It's our time down here!" I thought, well, I knew, my Itty Bitty would be showing up at the end of the month. As a result, I didn't think much of it when, on April 2nd, I started to feel uncomfortable in my lower belly. I had plenty of time to keep seeing friends, right? Who knows, maybe there was even enough time to even find One Eyed Willy's gold?

April 3rd, however, was a different story, because that night - I lost my mucus plug.

Mucus plug?!

Mucus. Plug. ::shuddering::

I feel like I have to take a shower after saying that term. What a nasty name for something that is generally an early sign that you are going to be welcoming a beautiful baby into the world. Some people think it should be renamed because it sounds disgusting. But, like lots of pregnancy terms, they weren't invented for style or beauty. They were thought up by pragmatic nerd-boy doctors who get straight to the point. Thus, the mucus plug. It is what it is.

Well, ladies and gents, oddly enough, I think it is perfectly named. After coming home from our infant care class, I lost the aforementioned mucus plug.

For those of you who do not know what a mucus plug is, it's like the cork in a wine bottle, keeping in that fine grape juice (or baby) to mature in a sterile environment over time. When it is time to enjoy the wine (baby's arrival), the cork must come out (The mucus plug comes out in its own, thanks to a mother's cervix dialating.) Sometimes the wine needs to breathe right away (your baby could arrive weeks later), or sometimes it is immediately time to party.

My Itty Bitty is a party animal.

"Some women might not notice the loss of their mucus plug since there is already an increase in vaginal discharge during pregnancy."---says the American Pregnancy Assiciation. Ummmm...right, yeah...well...

I sure did notice mine....

My plug was unavoidable. It was huge - about the size of a half dollar actually. It was yellowish, slimy, and honestly looked like a giant's booger. The plug reminded me of that scene in Harry Potter and The Sorceror's Stone, when Harry pulls his wand out from a trolls nose and Ron says "ew, troll bogies."

And, honestly, that's really what the plug is like - a ginormous yellow snot. Yuck.

But, I was Mary Larsen - there was no way some mucus, snot, troll bogie, plug thingy was going to get in the way of my social life. Nope. So, April 4th I was going to have breakfast with a friend in spite of the stupid plug and the pains in my tummy. Remember, I was Mary Larsen, super woman. Nothing was going to stop me. Not even the Mt. Hope Bridge. Or would it?

This is the first of a ten-part series recapping and examining the birth story of my Itty Bitty. Click here for Part 2.

 

Day 148: Dimples like daddy

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

 

Day 147: Memorial Day in red white and blue

Monday, May 27, 2013

 

 

Day 146: Lumos & Nox

Sunday, May 26, 2013

 

 

Day 145: Soothing a babe to sleep

Saturday, May 25, 2013

 

 

Day 144: A smile from this baby can make a bad day a wonderful day

Friday, May 24, 2013

 

 

Day 143: Family Matters

Thursday, May 23, 2013

A favorite pic of ours from from our newborn photo shoot with Erica from Blessed Beginnings.

Day 142: Thigh master

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

 

The Best Baby Friendly Places in Rhode Island - Your Own Home

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Each moment with my Itty Bitty is a perfectly precious one. I know I'm a little biased, but he is just so damn cute. I could honestly spend hours holding him as he sleeps, while I play with his tiny toes and tiny fingers, or sing him to sleep.

However, being a new mom does have a small drawback...it is incredibly easy to become a pajama wearing hermit/zombie. Why put on my nice dress from Nordstrom and go to Starbucks, when I can wear my new favorite sweat suit from Brown University - which is covered in puke - and make a K-cup from Dunkin'. Who needs sunlight or fresh air when I can catch up on the entire third season of Game of Thrones and eat an the complete jumbo bag of Skittles? (Sadly this is not an exaggeration. BTW, can Daenerys be any more badass? I'm obsessed.)

But, then, I realized that making plans, even as simple as taking a walk around the block, help keep me sane and prevents me from looking like Theoden, the cursed king of Rohan in The Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers.

Some days Itty Bitty and I go on adventures in the car, whereas on others we only make it as far as our front porch. It really depends on how he's fairing for the day.

But, despite how hard it can be sometimes, I do have my favorite destinations. So I've decided to start documenting my favorite places in Rhode Island to bring my newborn baby - and share them with you. If you have any suggestions, please feel free to leave them in a comment below, or shoot me an email. Itty Bitty and I are always ready for a new adventure :)

The first baby friendly place that I can recommend is your own home. Sure, it's a no-brainer, but there's a catch. You need to invite a friend over to spend some time with you and your newborn. Otherwise you're just being lazy and staying home alone.

I have especially enjoyed having friends and family over during the first few weeks of Itty Bitty's life because I am in control of the environment. I don't have to worry about being in a germ infested venue, or suffering from loud sounds that might startle him, or have to worry about the temperature.

How & Why To Invite Company To Your Own Home When You Have A New Baby

  • You have everything your baby needs - diapers, food, a comfortable place to feed, new clothing, cribs, etc.
  • You have everything YOU need - medications, bathroom supplies (especially for that first week home from the hospital), and your entire wardrobe. (Trust me, you'll need the entire wardrobe because of all the bodily fluids the kid will project Exorcist style).
  • Generally, guests within the first few weeks will offer to help out, whether they bring over some food, or help out with some minor chores like emptying the dishwasher, or putting in another load of laundry. (This, in my opinion, should be par for the course. We never demanded it from anyone, but hubby and I always secretly referred to guests bringing a meal as their payment for seeing our baby :)
  • Someone else can hold your baby for you so you can use the restroom or take a shower. Laugh it up. It's true, you honestly don't have time to shower. You know how many times I made fun of those moms that said they never had time for themselves before I had Itty Bitty? Yeah, I was really, really dumb.
  • I love having company over because even though I am not leaving my house, I will still attempt to make myself presentable. Generally this just means something not covered in baby spit-up, but, hey, it still counts.
  • If the weather is nice, you can even sit out on your porch, front steps, or backyard.
  • Having genuine adult conversations will make you feel like a million bucks. For once, you and your partner won't have to talk about whether it was a pee or poopy diaper or how great it is to hear a baby fart. Oddly enough, adults actually have adult conversations. Just seen Star Trek Into Darkness and love the twist about the villain? You can finally talk about it and you don't even need to leave your home!
  • Make sure your company knows that you will not be able to have them over for very long - an hour at most. You and your tiny baby need to recharge!
  • Guests should come in small groups - either a single family at a time, or a friend or two at a time. This way, you and your baby do not get overwhelmed. And if this is something you're uncomfortable with, the good news is that your baby won't be passed around too much.
  • Make sure everyone is in good health before they come over, and that they wash their hands as soon as they enter. Keep a giant tub of hand sanitizer on your table as well.

Staying home and inviting someone over is obviously baby friendly, but a little bit of company will go a long way, especially in the first month after you have your baby. It is great to be surrounded by those you love who will share in your joy, without having to be stressed. Plus, when they bring food, it saves you for ordering Chinese for the third time that week. Although eating a good Pad Thai never, ever, and I mean never, ever, gets old. Seriously, never.

In the end, just stay home and have people over. It's the easiest and most controlled environment you could possibly imagine - especially if you're a new mom, or if you're baby isn't well, or if he's so new.

Trust me, don't worry about bringing your baby out to please everyone whether it be friends or family. People should and will understand that your baby is brand new and pretty much still has the packaging on it. If they love you and truly want to help, they'll visit. And, really, that's the best thing for your baby and, most importantly, you.

Because seeing people, and being social, despite how tired you can and will be is a good thing. And let's face it, no one wants to look like the creepy cursed king of Rohan.

To follow the Best Baby Friendly Places in Rhode Island - just click this link!

Have you ever visited someone within the first few weeks of their having a baby? What was it like?

Day 141: Superdad

 

Day 140: The best part of waking up

Monday, May 20, 2013

 

Day 139: Itty Bitty baby grew out of his newborn clothing at six weeks

Sunday, May 19, 2013

 

 

Day 138: I used to spend Saturday nights in heels...

Saturday, May 18, 2013

 

 

Day 137: baby Star Trek onesie

Friday, May 17, 2013

Hubby is quite excited for the release of the new Star Trek movie tonight. Itty Bitty played along, until Hubby wanted to be twins, complete with Red Sox hats.

Day 136: Spring flowers in Providence, Rhode Island

Thursday, May 16, 2013

 

 

You've Got A Friend In Me On The Ukulele {vlog}

Day 135: Gorgeous grandfather clock

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

 

 

My Baby Is Like A Tamagotchi

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

I have three very vivid memories of the summer of 1997:

1. Teen summer camp at the YMCA. We would take daily field trips to beaches, parks, and other fun places throughout our state. I remember an older boy who smelled like Cheetos kept trying to hit on me, and the other two people I befriended became make-out buddies. What I thought would be an interesting two weeks turned out to be rather annoying (the Cheetos breath, oh, the Cheetos breath) and uneventful. So, instead of making new friends, I made a bazillion friendship bracelets.
2. Watching Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones in Men In Black. 92 PRO FM played that movie's jam almost every hour during the two weeks I was in summer camp, and I remember singing along in the YMCA van "The good guys dress in black remember that, just in case we ever face to face and make contact." I also practiced (and still remember) the sweet alien dance moves from the music video. (Don't judge)
3. My Tamagotchi. That silly, simple, yet incredibly time consuming video game that was part of my keychain. I would spend hours each day feeding my little pet, cleaning up after it, and constantly trying to make it happy. Sadly, I stunk at being a tamagotchi parent. It was always depressed looking, or worse, would die. I could never seem to understand it's needs, and gave up on it after three weeks. You know you did too.

Yesterday my pediatrician told me that my tiny baby may have a touch of colic.

If this face means he has a touch of colic, what in the blazes is full colic?
Itty Bitty smash!

You get the idea :)

Anyway, Itty Bitty cries most often at night even though there is nothing really wrong with him. His diaper will be clean, he would have just eaten, and hubby and I are burping, swaddling, swaying, singing, you-name-it-we-have-tried-it machines. All to no avail.

Suffice it to say, Colic = you should be a happy baby, but instead you are a crying fussy mess for hours each day. Most annoyingly it's usually at night during the hours of 1am - 4am.

And then a horrible thought entered my mind - My tiny baby, the little Itty Bitty that I birthed and have loved since the very first second I laid my eyes upon him, suddenly reminded me of that darn tamagotchi.

So, I did what any normal first time parent would do. I cried. A lot.

A lot.

Then I put on my big girl pants, aka my maternity pants (because lets be honest, my midsection is no where near pre-pregnancy size!) and decided to tackle the problem with optimism. I know failing, like how I failed my tamagotchi, is not an option.

So I now work on savoring each precious moment my Itty Bitty isn't screaming his purple face off. And when he does, I try my best to soothe him, and if that doesn't work, I play some music. This week it has been a lot of John Williams soundtracks, with the occasional sing-along to a Queen song.

Things sure have changed over the past 16 years since 1997. I don't have time to make friendship bracelets, have watched Men In Black 2 & 3 (with the third being far superior than the second - Seriously, Josh Brolin does a better Tommy Lee Jones than Tommy Lee Jones doing Tommy Lee Jones - It's uncanny) and I have a real life baby rather than a simple computer game key chain one. My days are full, my nights are long, often crying filled, but I wouldn't have it any other way.

I'm just glad my baby doesn't turn into a raging green Hulk. Well, yet anyway.

Day 134: Green and red stained glass window

 

I could get used to looking at this every day

Day 133: A cloudy day in Providence, Rhode Island

Monday, May 13, 2013

 

 

Itty Bitty Loves Listening To The Ukulele {vlog}

I used to sing and play my ukulele to my tiny baby throughout my pregnancy. Since he has been born, I haven't had a lot of time to play my larger instruments, but I still have time for the ukulele. Sure, it isn't my strongest instrument, but I keep it by my glider in the nursery...just I case I get a moment like this to sing to my Itty Bitty.

Don't know this song? Maybe this will help remind you:

What fun song or songs should I sing to my tiny baby next?

Day 132: In dreams we enter a world that is entirely our own

Sunday, May 12, 2013

 

Quote on our nursery wall

DESIGNED BY ECLAIR DESIGNS